10 Common Phobias And How To Get Over Them

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We as humans are born with 2 very basic instincts, survival and replication. Phobias are a direct result of fear, an emotion triggered by the subconscious as a protective mechanism. To a certain extent, there is nothing wrong with having fears. The natural healthy instinct becomes a real issue when it gets gloomier and sicklier. When it becomes overwhelming. And the only way out is to acknowledge the fear and face it.

We as humans are born with 2 very basic instincts, survival and replication. Phobias are a direct result of fear, an emotion triggered by the subconscious as a protective mechanism. To a certain extent, there is nothing wrong with having fears. The natural healthy instinct becomes a real issue when it gets gloomier and sicklier. When it becomes overwhelming. And the only way out is to acknowledge the fear and face it.

  1. Acrophobia – Fear Of Heights.
  2. Acrophobes becomes anxious going to high places for the first time. Some may even experience panic attacks and lose control of themselves. Causes usually stem from trauma during childhood like falling from a high place.

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    Getting over it takes work. One example is to move up level by level in a high rise building (eg:apartment block) until you feel comfortable. Like maybe today, go to level 1 and look down below. Tomorrow, level 2. The next day, level 3 and so on and so forth until you get to level 40 or something. You can also do it with any swimming pool’s high dive plank. Slowly walk towards the edge. Stop if you feel any fear but stay put. After admitting that the fear exists, move forward or come down. Return to the same spot where you left off and continue with the next step until the day you are right at the edge of the plank and jump. The moment you hit the pool and realize that you are okay is the moment you’ve conquered your fear of heights.

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  3. Astraphobia – Fear of Thunder and Lightning.
  4. Happens especially when you are alone. As soon as you see dark clouds you try to go home as soon as possible. Brush your teeth as soon as possible. Go to bed and cover yourself with blanket. Close your eyes and cover your your ears as hard as possible. Start sweating profusely and your heart beats abnormally fast.

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    Knowledge is power as the more you know, the less afraid your are of it. First step of getting over astraphobia is to understand what and how lightning and thunder works. Thunder is just a sound. A loud sound. Lightning on the other hand is dangerous. Avoid open fields, beaches, lakes and swimming pools when it rains. Also, chances of you being struck by lightning in a given year is as low as 0.000001%.

    Secondly, be around people when it happens, be it family or friends, or at a local coffee house, mall, etc. Makes things less daunting. Adopt a pet. Keep each other company and weather through the storm. The idea is to keep yourself occupied.

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  5. Blattodephobia – Fear of Cockroaches.
  6. Totally normal. Cockroaches are fast and sneaky. The American cockroach is one of the fastest insect in the world. Where it is warm and wet, there the roaches will be. Imagine bacteria from sewers and drains being carried all over the kitchen. As a result, they stink and they produce hundreds of other younglings from a single female.

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    Understand for a fact that they are here to stay. And the solution is simple. The only way to fix this phobia is to control the nearby population with poison cockroach baits. They are cheap and easily found in supermarkets. Place them all over the kitchen, near rubbish bins, under the refrigerator, near drains, etc. Regularly changing baits every 3 months should keep your house cockroach free.

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  7. Claustrophobia – Fear of Being Shut In Place.
  8. Defined as fear of having no escape and being closed in small spaces or rooms. Common situations include elevators crowded to capacity, windowless rooms, and even tight-necked clothing. An average of 6% of the world suffers from this very anxiety disorder.

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    The first step in getting over claustrophobia is to understand that your mind is fooling you into thinking that you are indeed in grave danger when you are in fact not. Panicking is a self perpetuating thing. The key is to address your feelings and be reasonably comfortable enough. If you are uncomfortable being seated in a restaurant corner table with friends and you have no wiggle room, then don’t put yourself there. Seat by the aisle. Same goes to airplanes, subway, buses, etc. Get the aisle seat.

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    Then as you progress, make small concessions to your claustrophobia. Gradually expose yourself to it. Just try it for a couple of minutes everyday. Try a larger room, walk into it, check out your surroundings, mentally say “This room is safe. It has a well planned fire escape route (the room has windows and doors) and I’ll definitely make it out alive if a fire were to happen. There’s only furniture (and whatever else)”. Once you are comfortable, remember the good times you had in that room, or a nice story about something in that room. Close the door once you are comfortably aware that the room is as safe as it gets.

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  9. Coulrophobia – Fear of Clowns.
  10. Johnny Depp has this extremely common phobia too. Although a clown is an entertainment figure that is suppose to make us laugh with their antics and funniness, many children and adults are just plain freaked out about clowns. Mainly thanks to movies like Stephen King’s It, Saw and Chucky of Child’s Play.

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    First thing coulrophobes have to understand is that movies and real life are two different things. It’s just your imagination playing tricks on you. Understand that it’s just a normal human being wearing make up in a colourful costume. Watching how clowns put on their make up and transform, step by step, reinforces the aforementioned notion that they are totally harmless.

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    Watch videos of clowns entertaining crowds like what they normally do, not as villains in films. Knowing that clowns have a long history of skillfully entertaining others helps. Lastly, avoid any horror or crime movies that do not portray clowns in a good way and your perception of clowns will definitely be more positive.

  11. Gerascophobia – Fear of Growing Old.
  12. We live in the beauty generation. A world obsessed with physical attractiveness. The thought of one day losing your youth makes you feel horrible. You can’t help but feel fear and loneliness. It makes you think that you will never get to be the way you were before.

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    First step to get out over the fear is realizing that our destiny has been death ever since we were born. Not only us humans, but EVERY living thing. Animals, plants and even the sun. It’s called the cycle of life. Nothing lasts forever. We WILL grow old eventually.

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    Secondly, build up your self worth. Focus on the quality of relationships around you. Put in time and effort to achieve your goals. Spend time with friends and family. So the older you get, the better your sense of self worth, the better your outlook on life is.

    Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. ~Mark Twain

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  13. Murophobia – Fear of Rats/Mice.
  14. Many are afriad of mice. It is common to find them especially in the kitchen. Although they are nocturnal by nature, you can still find them running about during the day. Murophobes who happen to see a rat at a spot will avoid that spot for days, afraid that the rat might run across the same spot anytime.

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    The solution is to understand that mice are 99% smaller than you. They are more scared of you than you are of them. Learn and understand mice. Slowly get comfortable by looking at them at your nearest pet store. Have the clerk handle it for you if possible. You won’t have to even touch one, just see that they really aren’t that bad. They cannot hurt you and although they carry diseases, you will survive a rat bite, which is the worst that can happen. Many people love keeping rats as pets and love them to bits. Try to understand why they are loved by many. Perform rodent control in your kitchen, when you are no longer afraid to handle rats.

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  15. Nyctophobia – Fear of Darkness.
  16. Triggered by the brain’s disfigured perception of what could happen when in a dark environment. Children, especially ones with a healthy imagination, are most affected. Some are still affected by it, well into adulthood. The sense is that something sinister is just out of sight and arm’s reach waiting for its moment to strike.

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    Getting over it is easy. It can be done anytime when the sun sets. Just ask yourself this. What is there in the dark, that isn’t there in the light? The only difference is the absence of light and what you choose to let your mind imagine. Understand that just because you think there is something waiting for you in the dark, doesn’t make it real. Write down what exactly it is you are afraid of and address each and every item in the list.

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    And once you realize there is nothing to be afraid of, face your fear head on. Slowly decrease the amount of light that is usually on. Increase the darkness little by little. Spend as much time in the dark. Get used to it.

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  17. Tetraphobia – Fear of the Number 4
    Triskaidekaphobia – Fear of the Number 13.
  18. Fear of the number 4 is a superstition most common in East Asian regions such as mainland China, Taiwan, Japan and Korea. The Chinese word for four sounds similar to the word for death in many varieties of Chinese. Similarly, the Sino-Japanese and Sino-Korean words for four, shi (Japanese) and sa (Korean), sound identical to death in each language.

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    Fear of the number 13 has it’s origins stem from as far as biblical times where Judas, the betrayer, was the 13th person to sit at the table. Being superstitious is one thing but when it becomes overwhelming, true phobias develop as a result.

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    Phobias of the numbers 4 and 13 can be found in almost anywhere. The 4th/13th floor is hardly found in modern buildings as developers skip 12 to 14 when labeling floor plans as a result of triskaidekaphobia present in especially Americans. Death is the 13th card in a deck of Tarot cards.

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    To get over with the fear of any number is to question yourself. Imagine the eastern world where many are not as affected as the west with the number 13. Would bad luck have befallen those who do not share the same belief as the west with the number 13? Same as the number 4. It only sounds like ‘death’ in eastern languages like Chinese, but not in English, Spanish, Italian, French, etc. It’s just a number and nothing else but a number. The superstition of number 13 has already been debunked by 5 Presidents of the USA who were all members of “The Thirteen Club“.

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  19. Trypanophobia – Fear of Injections.
  20. Jackie Chan has it and so do more than 10% of Americans who are trypanophobic. Going to the doctor’s is totally fine, but when a needle is pulled out you get petrified. Your heart rate goes up and the fear intensifies as it gets closer. In more severe cases, 8 pair of hands might be needed to keep you down to the table for the shot.

    Actually it is the anticipation of pain,leading up to the shot which is the hardest. And to not think about is to think about something else. And to be able to think about something else is to be at peace with injections, for you will be getting lots of it in the near and far future for the important medical procedures.

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    A short term solution is by closing your eyes, relaxing your arms and digging your nails into your free hand. It is easier to visualize something that makes you happy like your pet or a baby you love a lot when your eyes are closed. And the harder you dig your nails in, the less you will think about the shot. By inflicting a little bit of pain on yourself, the shock value dissipates. It’s like the inability to tickle yourself. For children, popping a sweet into his/her mouth helps to get their mind off it.

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    The real solution to the problem is desensitization one step at a time. Start with a picture if it’s bad. Then take out any needle you have at home like sewing needles and look at them over and over. Progress into handling them until the anxiety goes down. And each time you’re at the doctor’s office, remind yourself the importance of the injection you’re about to get. Explain to the doctor of your uncomfortableness with needles and your progress with getting over it. Once you’ve successfully completed the injection, your confidence level increases. Repeat the same steps for the next one and keep on increasing your confidence until one day, you look forward to it!

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